For those that have an interest in doing the three hour long sit that is held weekly at the Meditation Learning Center in Mesa Arizona, this page may help with any questions you might have.
First of all, it is best to arrive at least ten minutes early in order to acquaint yourself with a room that you are going to have your eyes closed in for three hours, the extra time is useful for getting acquainted with the others joining the meditation as well.
The long sit, is a three-hour meditation. Although many sit with out moving for the entire three- hours, there are no rules. One can get up, use the restroom, stand next to there cushion for a while or sit in a chair when uncomfortable. It is best for one to plan on doing the entire three hours of meditation although, there is no problem if one would wish to leave for any reason. Some people just simply cannot or do-not want to stay for the entire meditation, and this is not a problem.
The long sit meditation is from the Buddhist Forest tradition of Thailand. Some of the forest tradition monks regularly practice it every day; we have been doing this practice once per week here in Mesa, Arizona for over three years. Those that do the practice weekly will tell you how important it is in their lives. Frequently, it is said that this practice has been the turning point in their spiritual lives.
This type of meditation can be very difficult for one to set aside the time and do on their own, and is much easier to do in a group. We are much more mindful about sitting still and quiet as a group and once we settle down to do a meditation for a specific time frame we are more apt to stay with it while in a group.
The long sit, should not be looked at as a marathon meditation; the element of time should be disregarded as much as possible, this will occur on its own the more the practice is done.
The long sit is not recommended for first time meditators because it could give a person a false idea of what meditation is all about. It is not a competition to see how long one can sit without moving. It is a method for one to deepen, there all ready established, practice of meditation. Whatever your practice or tradition is, the long sit will deepen it. We have people from all traditions and with many types of meditation back grounds. We welcome anyone to come to this free of charge meditation.
To make the meditation experiences go smoothly. Comfort can be a major concern. One should have a sitting technique that they know will work for them, this has to be learned by trial. In a long meditation, we soon learn that every time you make a movement you will want to move slowly, and know that you are going to change your posture before doing so. One should be completely mindful of your movement before you do any moving what so ever otherwise the mind will trick you repeatedly in thinking that it is necessary. There is nothing wrong with movement during a long meditation to relieve discomfort but if it is habitual, that is something that should be worked with.
Bring your personal meditation cushion and shawl if you regularly use one. Bring water if you think you may get thirsty and dress comfortably.
The long sit is currently held on Thursday evenings in Mesa AZ, East of Alma School Rd and North of University Street. It starts at 7:00 and ends at 10:00 p.m. It is easy to get directions if you are not familiar with the Meditation learning center, simply email the address below.
If there are further questions about this or any other meditation practice as well as the exact locations, please send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org